Theater Talk

Theater  Talk

(Sent in by Barbara Clippinger, who as her last LLT show so wondrously proved, knows more than a thing or two about the theater.)

 

theatre 21. Eternity

The time that passes between a dropped cue and the next line.

2. Prop 

A hand-carried object small enough to be lost by an actor 30 seconds before it is needed on stage.

3. Director 

The individual who suffers from the delusion that he or she is responsible for every moment of brilliance cited by the critic in the local review.

4. Blocking 

The art of moving actors on the stage in such a manner as not to collide with the walls, the furniture, the orchestra pit or each other. Similar to playing chess, except that the pawns want to argue with you.

5. Blocking Rehearsal 

A rehearsal taking place early in the production schedule where actors frantically write down movements which will be nowhere in evidence by opening night.

6. Quality Theater 

Any show with which you were directly involved.

7. Turkey 

Every show with which you were not directly involved.

8. Set

An obstacle course which, throughout the rehearsal period, defies the laws of physics by growing smaller week by week while continuing to occupy the same amount of space

9. Monologue 

That shining moment when all eyes are focused on a single actor who is desperately aware that if he forgets a line, no one can save him.

10. Bit Part

An opportunity for the actor with the smallest role to count everybody else’s lines and mention repeatedly that he or she has the smallest part in the show.

11. Green Room 

Room shared by nervous actors waiting to go on stage and the precocious children whose actor parents couldn’t get a baby-sitter that night, a situation which can result in justifiable homicide.

12. Dark Spot

An area of the stage which the lighting designer has inexplicably forgotten to light, and which has a magnetic attraction for the first-time actor. A dark spot is never evident before opening night.

13. Hands 

Appendages at the end of the arms used for manipulating one’s environment, except on a stage, where they grow six times their normal size and either dangle uselessly, fidget nervously, or try to hide in your pockets.

14. Stage Manager 

Individual responsible for overseeing the crew, supervising the set changes, baby-sitting the actors and putting the director in a hammerlock to keep him from killing the actor who just decided to turn his walk-on part into a major role by doing magic tricks while he serves the tea

15. Stage Crew 

Group of individuals who spend their evenings coping with 50-minute stretches of total boredom interspersed with 30-second bursts of mindless panic.

16. Message Play 

Any play which its director describes as “worthwhile,” “a challenge to actors and audience alike,” or “designed to make the audience think.” Critics will be impressed both by the daring material and the roomy accommodations, since they’re likely to have the house all to themselves.

17. Bedroom Farce 

Any play which requires various states of undress on stage and whose set sports a lot of doors. The lukewarm reviews, all of which feature the phrase “typical community theater fare” in the opening paragraph, are followed paradoxically by a frantic attempt to schedule more performances to accommodate the overflow crowds.

Ojo Del Lago
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